Do I need a call-to-action in my digital ads?

Do I need a call-to-action in my digital ads?

The short answer is “yes.”  A picture and a logo typically aren’t going to get you good results.  Look at this stat:


Effective digital advertising is not really about “clicks” or “likes.” In fact, most people don’t click on ads (the national average Click Thru Rate is .07% meaning less than 1 in 1000 people click on an ad). Having hundreds or even thousands of followers on Twitter or Likes on Facebook might seem cool, but what does it even mean?

It really doesn’t matter how many clicks you track or how many followers you have, what means more? Conversions! Getting people to take an action and do what you want them to do on your website (make a purchase, sign up, download an offer…) Inspiring people to take action is really what it is all about, and motivating people requires careful word choice and a solid call to action.

Words are extremely powerful and knowing how to use the right ones in your call to action phrases can dramatically increase your conversions.   Crafting a strong call to action is part science and part art. Understanding why certain phrases are more effective than others and learning how to implement them will set you up to become an expert at creating copy that drives conversions.

Consumers don’t care about your products and services and what you want.  They care about themselves and the benefit they are likely to see from using your product or service. How is it going to help them and how is it going to make them feel? Always focus on the consumer and their feelings when shaping your call to action.

Selecting the right words and using them correctly can dramatically impact the amount of engagement you receive from your digital marketing efforts.

Examples Of Strong Call To Action Phrases:

  • Simply choosing to use the word “free” instead of “no-cost” impacts engagement.
  • Use “sign up now” instead of “join us.”

If your aim is persuade people to choose your product or service, then try mixing these phrases into your call to action:

  • You
  • Guarantee
  • Results
  • Free
  • Because
  • New

The phrases above are among the most persuasive words in the English language.

Use these phrases to create a strong sense of urgency:

  • Only X days left
  • Limited supply
  • Closing soon
  • While supplies last
  • Today only
  • Last chance
  • Offer ends on “date”
  • Hurry
  • Immediately
  • Now

Creating a sense of urgency or shortage makes people take action. People hate to miss out on a good deal.  In fact, people are more emotionally drawn to losing things than they are at gaining them!

  • Enforce some kind of limit on your offer. Whether you’re restricting it to a certain number of people or a specific time frame, you have to let people know the longer they wait, the less likely they will get in on the deal.
  • Phrases like “hurry,” “immediately” and “now” intensify the sense of urgency.

Another effective way to make people take action is to imply exclusivity with whatever you’re offering. People want what they can’t have. There’s also a community aspect because you want to be part of a special group. Try these phrases:

  • Request an invitation
  • Now closed
  • Members Only/Subscribers only
  • Only available to ___
  • Pre-register/Pre-order
  • Limited spots
  • Exclusive access

Sometimes the action you want your audience to take isn’t necessarily to buy a product, sign-up for an email list or use a service. Maybe your goal is to test the water a little bit by gauging the interest in a particular product or service you’re thinking of launching.

Here are some good call to action phrases that will help you see how interested and engaged your audience is:

  • Reply
  • Share
  • Contact me

Last but not least is “contact me.”  Does your audience know you would love for them to contact you?  Do you make it easy for them or do you have a contact form on your website that requires them to give you way too much information?  Keep it simple, name, email and a box to type a message to you.


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